Forge Ahead under the Guidance of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Thought on Diplomacy
Foreign Minister Wang Yi
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has, proceeding from an insightful grasp of the changing international environment and the trend of the times and standing at the forefront of world development, laid out a creative new vision and new thinking as well as new strategies for China’s diplomatic work. These have formed and established General Secretary Xi Jinping’s thought on diplomacy. The thought provides the theoretical guidelines for China’s diplomacy in the new era, and contributes China’s perspectives and wisdom for reforming and improving the global governance system.
The rich connotations of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s thought on diplomacy
Set in the historical context of China’s development and geared toward the goal of realizing the Chinese dream of national renewal, General Secretary Xi Jinping’s thought on diplomacy defines the guiding philosophy, basic principles, key tasks, strategies and tactics, and institutional guarantees for conducting the external work in the new era. The weighty conclusions and overall planning embodied in General Secretary Xi Jinping’s thought give resounding answers to such key questions as what kind of a world China as a leading member of the international community hopes to see, what kind of international relations China expects to build, and what foreign policy serves China best in the new era and how to conduct it. Taken together, these conclusions and answers form a profound system of theories with rich connotations.
1. Charting the course for conducting major-country diplomacy with Chinese features
With keen observation of the historic changes in China’s relations with the rest of the world, General Secretary Xi Jinping stresses that China must pursue a major-country diplomacy with Chinese features to fully demonstrate our distinctive vision, style and way of conducting diplomacy. We must uphold the leadership of the CPC, reinforce our confidence in the path, theories, system and culture of socialism with distinctive Chinese features, and make our own contribution to mankind’s efforts to explore better social systems. We must stick to peaceful development, pursue China’s development in the context of world development and forge ahead by actively engaging all countries for mutual benefit. We must work proactively to serve China’s overall economic and social development by fostering enabling conditions for Chinese businesses to go global and by introducing foreign investment. Inspired by the vision of major-country diplomacy with Chinese features, we have worked with a pioneering and dauntless spirit and broken new ground in China’s diplomacy and foreign relations.
2. Articulating the objective of building a community of shared future for mankind
With a keen sense of responsibility for China and for the world, General Secretary Xi Jinping has put forward the important initiative of jointly building a community of shared future for mankind, drawing a blueprint for common development and enduring peace for all mankind. General Secretary Xi Jinping first proposed to build a community of shared future in China’s neighborhood. He went further to call for building such a community in Asia, and eventually put forth the proposal of building a community of shared future for mankind at the United Nations. He outlined an overarching aspiration and pathway for building this community in five dimensions, namely enduring peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, and making our world clean and beautiful. This proposal puts China’s diplomacy on a moral high ground in keeping with the trend of the times.
3. Emphasizing the core principle of pursuing win-win cooperation
General Secretary Xi Jinping calls for jointly building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. He emphasizes that one must not cling to the Cold War mentality or zero-sum game thinking since the times have changed. We must keep pace with new trends in the 21st century and follow a win-win approach in handling external relations in the political, economic, security and cultural fields. Win-win cooperation is China’s answer to the question “where should the international relations go in the 21st century”. It is about replacing confrontation with cooperation, monopoly with shared benefits, and offers a new perspective for all countries to jointly build a better world.
4. Exploring the pathway for fostering a global network of partnerships
General Secretary Xi Jinping believes that China needs to make as many friends as possible and build a global network of partnerships while upholding the principle of non-alignment. Such partnerships are equal, peaceful and inclusive in nature. They are not dominated by any party, or draw lines of division, still less are they directed against any imaginary enemies or third parties. Springing naturally from China’s independent foreign policy of peace, these partnerships are built on a commitment to common purposes or a readiness to seek common ground while setting aside differences. They transcend the Cold War mentality of “either with us or against us” that created confrontation between opposing alliances, and present the world with a new modality for developing state-to-state relations. China has established such partnerships with some 100 countries, regions or regional organizations, blazing a new trail in relations between countries that favor dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliance.
5. Following the right approach to justice and interests
General Secretary Xi Jinping points out that we must uphold the right approach to justice and interests in our diplomatic work: speaking up for justice politically, pursuing mutual benefit and common development economically, and acting in good faith and valuing friendship in international affairs. General Secretary Xi Jinping stresses that this principle must be upheld in our relations with neighboring countries and other developing countries. More consideration should be given to accommodating the interests of those neighboring and developing countries who have long been China’s friends and face daunting development challenges. General Secretary Xi Jinping also puts forward new propositions on security, development and global governance. These propositions have further enriched the core values of China’s foreign policy and received wide recognition from the international community, particularly developing countries. They have become a hallmark of the soft power of socialist China.
6. Putting forward the major initiative for Belt and Road development
To advance China’s all-round opening-up and the common prosperity and progress of mankind, General Secretary Xi Jinping has put forward the major initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The Belt and Road Initiative follows the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. The initiative links up China’s development with the development of other countries along the routes, and the Chinese dream with the dreams of the people in those countries. It imbues the ancient Silk Road with a new spirit of the times and offers the world a plan inspired by Oriental wisdom to achieve common development and prosperity. Under the framework of international cooperation on the Belt and Road development, the participants in this initiative have worked together, in line with the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, to seek new drivers of growth, explore new scope for development, and advance the goal of building a community of shared future for mankind.